chioggia beet

Chioggia Beets

Dive into the world of Chioggia beets—also known as candy stripe, candy cane, or bull’s eye beets. Discover the origins, flavor, seasonality, availability, and recipes showcasing these visually stunning and nutrition-packed root vegetables.

What is a Chioggia Beet?

A Chioggia beet is most remarkable for its striking visual appearance when viewed cross-sectionally. The inner visual pattern contains concentric rings of pink and white, resulting in Chioggia beets also being called candy stripe beets, candy cane beets, and bulls eye beets.


Like other beets, candy striped beets are root vegetables that are available year around. They are a cool-weather crop, which means there are two growing cycles during a year. They can be sown in early spring and also in fall.

Candy Stripe Beets Vs Other Beets

The candy cane beet differs in a number of ways from other beets, like the red beet and golden beet. The aesthetic difference is most apparent, with the candy stripe beet being the only beet containing a visual pattern, i.e. concentric white and pink rings. The red beet and golden beets tend to be uniformly red and golden, respectively.

chioggia beetroot

The appearance difference is also related to a functional difference between the beets. The red beet’s pigment will bleed out, which can get messy. This can stain clothes and hands, as well as bleed out and color other ingredients in the dish. The Chioggia beet does not have this problem (neither does the golden beet).

Flavorwise, the candy cane beet is also sweeter than the red beet. Though the candy cane name is given due to the visual appearance, the chioggia is also more candy like due to its sweeter flavor.

The candy striped beet is also known to have an earthier flavor compared to other beets. The flavor has also been described as being slightly peppery.

Where Do Chioggia Beets Come From?

The names candy stripe beets, candy cane beets, and bull’s eye beets all refer to the visual appearance of this beet. However, the name Chioggia beet refers to the location where the beet originates.

Chioggia beets are an Italian beet heirloom. Chioggia is a coastal town in Italy, south of Venice. The beets were brought to America around the mid nineteenth century.

Where Do I Get Chioggia Beetroot?

Chioggia beets are harder to find compared to red beets and golden beets. They can be found at Farmer’s Markets and more specialty grocery stores. You can also purchase seeds online if you want to try your hand at growing some.

I would call your local specialty grocers to see if they have them. Sometimes some major grocery chains will carry them so I would suggest calling around. Make sure to use the different names for the beet, like candy stripe beet, as the employee may not be familiar with the Chioggia name (or vice versa).

chioggia beets

How Do I Use Candy Striped Beets?

A common way to prepare candy cane beets is to serve them raw. This fully preserves the beautiful visual pattern they display. If they are cooked, such as being boiled or steamed, the pigment responsible for the pink regions may bleed out into the neigboring white regions. The result is much less visual contrast between the pink and formerly white regions (both regions will now be shades of pink). This is far less visually appealing.

When serving this vegetable raw, you do not want to overwhelm the diner. Ideally, you will want to slice the beet thinly. Slices will be able to display the beatiful visual pattern, while keeping the slices thin will make the flavor and texture milder (compared to eating a thick piece of raw beet).

candy stripe beets

Chioggia Beets Nutrition

Like all beets, chioggia beets are highly nutritious. They are packed with fiber, essential nutrients, and associated with numerous health benefits. See here for more details on beetroot nutrition.

Chioggia Beet Recipes

Here is are some delicious and attractive ideas for using Chioggia beets.

Raw Chioggia Beet Recipes

Here is a recipe for a beet tartare

Here’s a gorgeous recipe for Candy Stripe Beet Carpaccio, which is a great way to show off the stunning visual pattern of this beet.

If you want to eat raw candy cane beets with a tang, here is a recipe for pickled Chioggia beets

Cooked Chioggia Beet Recipes

Here’s a delicious recipe for an autumn salad with roasted bull’s eye beets

A recipe for roasted Chioggia beets – a simple sheet pan recipe where you can throw in other vegetables and herbs


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